Synthetic Biologics' C. difficile mid-stage study meets main goal

Synthetic Biologics Inc said on Thursday its experimental product designed to reduce antibiotic-resistant infections outperformed a placebo in a mid-stage trial.

The company's oral enzyme ribaxamase met the main goal of significantly reducing Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) versus a placebo in the 412-patient study.

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Prolonged use of antibiotics can allow this common intestinal inhabitant to explode into a lethal infection as antibiotics kill off its beneficial rivals in the gut.

Spread through hospital surfaces and human contact, C. difficile most often affects the elderly. It causes severe diarrhea, can damage the colon and is difficult to treat.

The company's shares were up 24 percent at $1.10 in premarket trading.